(KCPW News) The voucher debate may be over for now in Utah, but conservative think-tank The Sutherland Institute isn't done advocating for more local and parental control in Utah public schools. On Tuesday, President Paul T. Mero announced the formation of the institute's Center for Educational Progress.
"The best education decisions are gonna be made by parents and school principals together in their local neighborhoods," he said.
The center's goals include reducing the influence of special interests on education, promoting the use of technology, and ending standardized teaching practices.
The Sutherland Institute also just launched a Spanish-language version of UtahSchools.org, which ranks public, private and charter schools. Sandra Plazas, a single mother and a vice president at Hispanic Marketing and Consulting, described how the site would have helped her when her daughter was failing in public school.
"It got so bad that she would tell me, Mom, I don't want to go to school. I feel stupid. I'm the only one that can't read," said Plazas. "Worried by the situation, I started looking at different options, and I found American Preparatory Academy, a charter school that was about to open. Their focus was academic success for every child."
Data released this month by the Utah State Office of Education revealed that 43 percent of Hispanic students in the state could not pass the high school basic skills test after five attempts, the maximum number allowed.